Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Needed

Where discussion about local groups is conducted

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Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Needed

Postby Hols969 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:24 pm

Just thought it would be useful to put a sticky here to put details of what a Local Group Leader does incase anyone is thinking of becoming one.

Just thought it may be useful to add the 'blurb' here on what is involved in a LGL.

Verity’s Local Groups are run by local women for local women.
Peer support is very important when dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), feedback shows that a majority of women with PCOS appreciate being able to meet others dealing with the same condition. As well as the important sharing of knowledge about PCOS, simply being in the company of others sharing the same condition is very helpful.

Local Groups are run by volunteers who organise and coordinate the meetings. They can be informal groups where the members meet for coffee and support, or it can be a more formal meeting where speakers and guests are invited to discuss living with PCOS.

Whether they are formal or informal, it’s great to meet women, who understand what you’re going through, and to get the support and help to deal with PCOS, as well as share hints and tips that are relevant to your NHS area – as we all know that it can be a postcode lottery to get the right treatments.

Verity’s Local Groups run in a variety of areas, see the panel to the right, or alternatively for the very latest list visit the Verity website:

http://www.verity-pcos.org.uk/how_we_help/local_groups

Why Local Groups?
PCOS can be a somewhat isolating condition, and therefore peer support both on a face to face basis (such as local groups or Verity’s twice yearly conferences) or over the internet through the discussion board offer women the opportunity to find a level of support that best suits their individual needs. Local Groups in particular offer a local, friendly and accessible place to discuss your own condition, and get and receive much needed peer support.

Local Groups give the chance of regular support and contact, as well as friendship and understanding. Sometimes, it’s nice just to talk to people who are in the same position and dealing with the same issues – whether that’s excess hair, irregular periods, difficulty conceiving, emotional effects, or weight issues. Being local also allows groups to meet
more frequently, and fosters the growth of friendships that can be a huge support even between meetings.

What’s a Local Group Leader?
A Local Group Leader is a member of Verity, who has agreed to act as a point of contact for the group, and to give up some time to arrange the meetings, arranging venues that suit the type of meeting, and arranging speakers if needed.

To be a Local Group Leader, you need to be able to commit a few hours a month to organise the meetings, keep in touch with members, answering any e-mail queries from ladies looking to join the group and update the Verity website with updates of your group.

The Local Group and Volunteer Co-ordinator is available to offer support and advice to Local Group Leaders at any time, by telephone, through the discussion board, or via e-mail. There is also a dedicated and private section on the Verity discussion board so that Local Group Leaders can build a support network and swap ideas and tips with each other.

Who can be a Local Group Leader?
Anyone!
Local Group Leaders don’t need any special skills, other than being friendly and able to organise the meetings. You don’t need to be a medical expert, or even a PCOS expert, just be able to listen and help others share their experiences. You don’t need to be super confident – arranging the meetings helps you build confidence, and adds value to your skills – and with many employers being more interested in our spare time and transferable skills, being a Verity volunteer could add extra sparkle to your CV.

As long as you:
– have few hours each month to dedicate
– can answer and send e-mails
– are enthusiastic and friendly
– can update your group frequently (via discussion board, email and Verity website)
… then we would love to hear from you.

Local Group Leaders don’t need any special skills, other than being friendly and able to organise the meetings.

Guide to being a Verity Local Group Leader
Starting a Local Group
How do I set up a group?
The first thing to do to set a group up is to find out whether there is a demand in your area. Many leaders do this through the discussion boards – posting on the local groups forum, and checking it for replies.

If there are enough people to get a group going (anything from three upwards) then you arrange a time and date, and a venue, and hey presto – you have your first group meeting arranged! It’s important to sound out your group members and see what type of group and support they need.

The groups range from informal where the members meet for lunch or coffee and a chat, to a more formal group where speakers come along to discuss different aspects of living with PCOS. It really does depend what is required by the ladies in your group, although it is important to remember that we are a support group – not a counselling
service, or an advice service. We do not offer medical opinions or diagnosis – we leave that to the real experts.

However, we do offer support and friendship and share the truth about living with PCOS
– as it affects us day-to-day.

What’s are the next steps?
– Check there isn’t currently a group running in your area
– Then get in touch with the Local Group Co-ordinator: localgroups@verity-pcos.org.uk
– Post on the discussion board in the local groups forum
– Find out the number of people interested in meeting
– Negotiate a suitable time, date and venue – bearing in mind transport issues, and the time of your meeting. Remember not everyone has access to a car, so do try to make the venue accessible by public transport
– Often for first meetings an informal coffee and chat is the best idea – that way people get to put faces to names, and can decide what you all want from the group
– You may be able to negotiate a free room from some venues – the Bristol Local Group use a pub function room for their meetings and have it for free, but do show support and thanks to the venue by ensuring each person buys a drink or something from the bar
– Think about other ways to advertise your Local Group as well – maybe a poster in your local GP surgery or at your hospital clinic
Once your Local Group is up and running, Verity will make an announcement on the homepage of the Verity website, and also existing and new members will be able to opt-in to hear news and updates from your Local Group if they are in your area.

It’s important to sound out your group members and see what type of group and support they need.

Guide to being a Verity Local Group Leader
Arranging a Group meeting
Practical arrangements for meetings
There is no hard and fast rule for the frequency of meetings. Most Local Group Leaders find that quarterly meetings are best as it tends to fit into already busy lives, although anything from six weekly to biannually works well – it really does depend on what the group wants and needs. There’s no hard and fast rules.

Venues should be easily accessible by public transport as well as by car. Bear in mind that people may be scared of travelling alone on public transport after dark too, so maybe see if members could car share for the meetings – especially for the journey home.

Remember to support the venue that you meet in – whether it’s by buying a soft drink or coffee. As Verity is a charity, it is often possible to negotiate the free use of a function room on a week night, or a time when they are not busy. Be mindful that the people attending your meeting have work and life commitments (like yourself) so work with your group to come up with the most suitable time for people to meet. People may also travel a fair distance to meetings, so although you cannot set meetings to suit everyone, you do need to bear in mind the distance
involved – especially for some of the more rural areas.

Local Group meetings should be free, although if you need to cover speaker expenses it is fair to ask for a small donation to cover costs. This should be arranged in advance, and all attendees should know about it in the initial meeting invite. It is always worth reminding speakers that Verity is a not-for profit charity, and proof of this can be attained
through the Verity office.

If you meet for lunch or coffee its worth remembering that you should go for an affordable venue, as not everyone has spare cash to pay for luxuries like lunches out in posh restaurants.

Remember Verity is here to support you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above or you want to proceed in becoming a Local Group Leader please contact the Local Group Leader Co-ordinator at

localgroups@verity-pcos.org.uk

As Verity is a charity, it is often possible to negotiate the free use of a function room on a week night, or a time when they are not busy.
Unless stated, my views do not represent the official views, position or standing of Verity
Hols969
Verity Admin
 
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Re: Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader.

Postby Hols969 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:09 pm

As far as I can tell we have the following groups with no leader, so please let me know if you would be interested in becoming it and which group/area.

Basingstoke
Birmingham
Cornwall
Dorset
Dundee
East Sussex
Essex
Herts
Leicester
North Surrey
Pembrokeshire
Unless stated, my views do not represent the official views, position or standing of Verity
Hols969
Verity Admin
 
Posts: 11345
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:19 pm

Re: Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Nee

Postby cruisemum » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:27 pm

Hi,

Im just making some tentative steps about possibly setting up a group in Mid Sussex. Ive read the above and just wanted to let you know. Ill be posting a quick note on the board to see if there's any demand.

Thanks

Caroline
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cruisemum
 
Posts: 6
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Location: Mid Sussex

Re: Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Nee

Postby babyjohners » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi all,

Introducing a new support group for East Anglia.

Our first meeting is being held at Venture Centre 2000, Bromley Road, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2JE on Wednesday 23rd January 2013 - 7.30pm.

It will be a very informal evening with 4 guest speakers offering their advice on ways to help sufferers with the various symptoms PCOS can give you. There will be refreshments, cakes and plenty of people to chat to - so why not come along, it would be good to see you there!

Please spread the word to your fellow sufferers.

Visit our Website: http://www.pcosea.wix.com/pcosea
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PcosEastAnglia
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/552351721448581/

Thank you.
Julie Johnson
PCOS Support Group - East Anglia
babyjohners
 
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Re: Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Nee

Postby Quiche28 » Sat May 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Hello,
Do you know if there is now a group for Herts ?
I would really like to meet people locally who have PCOS.
Thank you for your help.
Quiche28
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:11 pm

Re: Becoming a Verity Local Group Leader / Group Leaders Nee

Postby shann2003 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:54 am

Hi, my name is Shannon and with some help I set up our local group for North Wales! We are having our first meet in September near to Llandudno! Nearer the time ill give more details out! We are also on Facebook and acouple of us are looking at fundraising ideas including a sponsored walk! Leave me a message here if you are interested in joining us or email me at shann2003828@aol.com

Lots of love and support to everyone,
Shannon xx
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